OTTAWA, Feb 28 ( – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) announced Friday that it had filed a motion with the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in the case of Trinity Western University of British Columbia, an evangelical post-secondary institution.  The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by the British Columbia College of Teachers that claims the University’s teacher’s course is not worthy of accreditation with the College. The controversy surrounds TWU’s community standards agreement which forbids sexual promiscuity by students, including homosexual behaviour. Despite only evidence to the contrary, BCCT charges that teachers trained in such an environment would lack the tolerance necessary to teach in a public school setting.

The CCCB motion says the College’s decision is a “rejection of moral values based on religious belief; a direct attack on independent religious-based education; and an infringement of constitutionally protected rights of Trinity Western University and its students.”  The CCCB argues that since the Catholic Church’s position on sexual conduct is similar to Trinity Western’s community standards agreement, the BCCT’s decision is also an attack on Catholic education.

The CCCB, if granted leave to intervene, would argue that “the kind of secular intolerance to religious beliefs demonstrated by the College’s decision would inevitably lead to unjustified attacks on the Catholic separate school system, including preferential hiring rights, particularly where the schools are publicly funded.”

For background on the TWU case see Lifesite articles here and here